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Many of the collaborations taking place during the time on board the train for Doug Aitken's "Station to Station" are of a musical type, Ariel Pink and Thurston Moore jamming on a tune for instance. But Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson is using the lanscape itself in his art. He's installed a kinetic drawing machine on the train, which consists of a suspended tray lined with paper and an inked ball, documenting the topography the travelers pass over from New York to California. According to designboom, Eliasson hopes to end the trip with approximately 20 drawings, which he'll complete when he returns home to Berlin.

Check out a video of the machine installed on a train in Germany, and a few images of the work below.

The second annual Design Week Portland, set for October 7-12, does an admirable job of corraling and celebrating the City of Roses's diverse creative community without shoehorning presenters and speakers into preconceived formats. Organizers Eric Hillerns and Tsilli Pines gave wide berth to those heading up individual events, resulting in a mix of presentations, open houses and speakers that give voice to what makes the region so compelling. A letter press fair, Portland design auction, and the opening of the Portland Design Museum all run concurrently with an array of events, including "Blurred Lines," a exhibit of interaction design sponsored by the AIGA, and a speech by Etsy creative director Randy Hunt on design and entrepreneurship.

After talking with some of the organizers, here’s a list of a few of the events we’re excited about. The full list can be found at designweekportland.com.


Home Brewed by Design (October 10 at 6pm, One Grand Gallery)

"Most designers covet these types of projects," said co-organizer Jason Sturgill of his Home Brewed by Design showcase, which pairs 20 artists and 20 brewers to create custom labels for beers that, in some cases, didn't even have a name when they were first conceived. "We wanted to bring together two independent communites, design and brewing, and help connect other communities with Design Week." By the times the event occurs, each team's graphic treatment will grace 200 bottles of home brew, meaning there will be plenty of libations on hand to make connections. 



Brandcraft: Building a 21st Century Brand (October 10 at 4pm, Owen & Jones Partners) 

The challenges of branding mirror those of web design, as multiple format and continuity become keys to effective communication. Brandcraft, organized by Mark Rawlins and Rusty Grim of Owen Jones & Partners, convenes a panel of creatives to cover how traditional ideas of branding bleed over into everything a company does. "The world has set things up in silos," says Rawlins, "and we should torpedo those silos. Branding is everything you do." Participants include Nike's Global Brand Design Director Jeff Weithman, who talks about how to get smaller and relate to smaller tribes of consumers, and AJ Joseph, Executive Creative Director of Adobe Software, who talks about the emotional versus empirical measurements of how agencies perform.    


Domestic, a Showcase of American Design (October 9–13, The Janey) 

Curated by interior designer Jasmine Vaughan of design journal Made & State, Domestic pushes American products as a matter of taste, not loyalty, and wants to take a move beyond the "bearded and salvaged wood" to push a more modern aesthetic. Seven designers and stores, such as Beam & Anchor and Fig Studios, will each be given two rooms at the Janey, a boutique apartment complex in the Pearl, and free rein to decorate with American-made goods and clothing. The rooftop will feature craft cocktails and custom furniture by FIELDWORK, and a Saturday afternoon trunk show is being oragnized by Amanda Needham, Portlandia's Emmy-winning costume designer. 

Portland Design Week takes places at venues across the city October 10–12; find more info and register for events at designweekportland.com.   

Designers Anders Wallner and Gustav Karlsson wouldn't have chosen such bright purples and pinks for their system of signs and symbols for the Gothenburg Arboretum if they wanted the signs to disappear. Instead, the bright colors reveal the signs almost instantly, and the symbols provide a relatively small amount of data about the surrounding area in the simplest way possible. Opting for symbols instead of verbal descriptions also adds flexibility for translating the data into different languages, as a simple key can be printed in infinite translations.

See a few more images of the project on Behance.

To mark the release of Coming Apart, the debut LP from Kim Gordon and Bill Nace's Body/Head, the band collaborated with pioneering filmmaker and photographer Richard Kern for a series of 10 videos. The clips resemble a portrait series, with each one focusing on a single, and sometimes glitchy, movement from one male and one female character, or an interaction between the two. As Ad Hoc points out, Gordon also collaborated with the photographer for Sonic Youth's "Death Valley 69" video in 1985. The complete series is available on Matador's YouTube channel, and two videos are below. 

Revisit our feature interview with Kern by one of his former subjects, and check out Marc Masters's Body/Head interview published this week at Pitchfork.

The cell phone industry has always been one of the more rigid sectors of the electronics world. Subsidized phones tied to contracts somehow make repairs pricey or nearly impossible. The Phonebloks concept is an idea for a more user-oriented device that can be repaired or customized with a system of removable and replaceable components. The logic is that when a single component of a cell phone breaks, users will simply replace that part instead of scrapping the entire phone. Replacing individual parts would mean much less e-waste, and the ability to prioritize features like battery life or storage space. 

Apparently a lot of people are interested in the concept. In only 48 hours, the company's introduction video has over 4.6 million views. 

Photo by: Jeremy Farmer

Photos by Jeremy Farmer

There are similarities between artist Doug Aitken's brainchild, the Station to Station art/music tour crossing the States right now, and the art happenings of the '60s. 

The filmic interludes, the choreographed surprises, the repurposing of space, the combination/juxtaposition of musical acts from wildly different genres, the artist-centered programming—all made for the right ingredients to shake us up in our audiovisual realms.

But there are just as many details that make it unique and uniquely 2013—the traveling-by-train show, the use of a magnificent public space rather than a squatted building or old theater, a corporate sponsor in Levi's, and the relative sobriety of the multigenerational crowd. Also, there's a bit about the train Aitken has designed and its on-board studios.

Happenings were once deliberately bizarre in-crowd events for hardcore bohemians. Aitken's are open to the public and not particularly hard to understand for the everyman. Still, one couldn't help but recall the sonic backdrops laid by improvising Pink Floyd Sound at the London happenings when one walked in to an ambient noise set from L.A.'s No Age. Welcome to a contemporary freak-out, it seemed to say.

In our day and age, despite the availability of 24/7 everything music, we still have a hard time placing live music in the background. It's hard not notice a band performing in front of you. So No Age, Caught on Tape (Thurston Moore's duo), the jazzy Theaster Gates/Black Monks of Mississippi, and others took center stage at the event and commanded attention as in a concert format. But Moore, in particular, took the art angle to heart—delivering a spoken "song" for Kurt Cobain that shook up the concert formula. A headliner of sorts, Mavis Staples, was surely a revelation to those unfamiliar, but most Chicagoans who would hit this kind of event were probably well versed. 

Yurts for artist installations, crafts (bagmakers, rug weavers), and a Levi's capsule collection provided interesting and interactive diversion, but didn't have the requisite weird factor to be come across as transformative art. Printed matter, posters from Aitken and others, were rather nonchalantly on display in a central area of the party—a hard place to get attention for a poster.

The big winner in the competition for the art crowd gaze was video. The video sets projected on three screens between live acts were sometimes jarring, sometimes hypnotic, arousing curiosity—almost improbably in our YouTube/Instagram overloaded world—from historic bits from Raymond Pettibon or re-edited "Wonder Woman" episodes to a short film shot on Vieques. The video element dazzled and wowed—and that's the bit that felt like art.

Station to Station visits St. Paul, MN tonight.

Cold drip coffee brewing, a smaller subset of the cold brew method, has an equipment problem. The cold drip machines currently available are complex, large, and pricey towers that look like they belong in a Victorian chemical lab rather than a kitchen, and can easily cost a few hundred dollars. The Cold Bruer is a much more compact version of the cold drip tower, designed to use filters from the cult classic Aeropress

The Cold Bruer is made almost entirely of glass, save for the silicone plug that regulates the drip speed. Depending on which drip speed the user chooses, a full pot can take anywhere from three to 12 hours. While it may not be much quicker than cold brewing in a french press, the drip system works as kind of a low-tech timer that can have a pot of cold brew ready in the morning.

The Cold Bruer system starts at $50 for Kickstarter backers.


Back in January we wrote about Charles Bergquist's "Everyday Project," during which the artist made a point to complete one unfinished image every day for as long as he could. Bergquist's images and films blend photography, graphic design, motion graphics, and 3D rendering into unnaturally colorful landscapes and portraits. And we're already big fans of his collaborations with Ghostly and his videos for Youth Lagoon. Later this week, Bergquist has a show of new work, called "Anium," opening at the Subtext Gallery in his home base of San Diego.  

Preview new work from the show below, and follow Bergquist on Twitter for more previews of the show. "Anium" will run from September 13 through October 13 at the Subtext Gallery

Just about a week ago, NASA christened its new Instagram account with a photo of the Earth rising over the moon taken 44 years ago during the Apollo 11 mission. While we're sure there's always a demand for vintage space photos, NASA's made it clear the account won't been limited to just archival images. This week they shared some amazing shots of a capsule landing in remote Kazakhstan as it happened, and a few days ago they documented the launch of the LADEE mission, the unmanned mission to study the atmosphere of the moon.

For more NASA imagery, check out their extremely through Flickr account

During their heyday, zines were useful for getting intel on bands bubbling up in your region, sharing outlaw skater folk tales, exposing underground artists, and as a platform for budding literary types flexing beatnik muscles. Despite the advent of blogs—or perhaps because of it—zines have surged once again in the Internet era. Architecture zines, in particular, have livened up the culture.

ARCHIZINES, a project from Elias Redstone, with art direction by Folch Studio, documents, celebrates and promotes zines, journals, magazines and periodicals from around the world as an indie and alternative publishing vehicle for architecture criticism and as a platform for new photography, illustration and design.

ARCHIZINES World Tour touches down in Chicago this fall, opening September 13 at Public Works in Wicker Park. The touring show, curated by Redstone, a collaboration with the Architectural Association, features 100 architecture magazines, fanzines, and journals from over 20 countries. Design With Company, Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer, created the installation.

Archizines are creations of enthusiastic architects, artists, and students and their content can include criticism, commentary, and research into spaces and practice. In the curator's eyes, they are a radical and essential component of the discourse. And what's more, they demonstrate the love and utility of printed matter in our day and age. 

The Archizines opening reception is Friday, September 13, 7-10pm at Public Works.

Archizines LIVE: Public Discussion + Sound Installations are set for September 28 and October 19 featuring panel discussions (6-8pm) and live music (9-10pm)

Saturday, September 28
Kyle May (CLOG Magazine) 
Iker Gil (MAS Context) 
Sofia Leiby (Chicago Artist Writers) 
Brandon Biederman (Fresh Meat) 
Sound Installation by Kyle Vegter & Daniel R. Dehaan of SOUND ROOM with special guest Levy Lorenzo 


Saturday, October 19
James Goggin (Practise) 
Ludovico Centis (San Rocco) 
Dylan Fracareta (PIN-UP) 
Matthew Harlan (SOILED) 
Sound Installation by THE–DRUM